Christmas and New Year’s is perhaps the only time here in Ireland that we take time off to enjoy family and friends, welcome loved ones from abroad and generally make an effort to switch off from work. If you’re in retail you quite probably spent some of the holiday period working before the big day and with post-Christmas sales.
Those of us in small business most likely spent some of the quieter time planning and getting prepared for the year ahead.
One thing I noticed particularly this year was an increase in the number of brands stopping by to wish their fans a Merry Christmas on the day itself. Why I ask, are we likely to forget about you if your name isn’t visible in feed for just one day?
The businesses in question ranged from small businesses to international brands and unsurprisingly they weren’t inundated with lots of great feedback or hundreds of likes. Some retail brands took it upon themselves to tell people their sale was starting either online on Christmas Day or on St Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day if you’re reading from UK) – more than a few were greeted with comments asking why they needed to get people shopping again before they’d even enjoyed their turkey!
Amid the requests for people to click like if they were having turkey for dinner or if Santa had brought anything nice, many brands took to asking people to fill in the blanks – bizarrely amongst them a marketing company (since unliked) actually asked for people to think about work-related emails on Christmas Day!
It’s easy to schedule posts and no doubt many of the irritating brand posts appearing in our feed when we logged on to converse with family and friends were arranged prior to the day – one multiple gave the game away when they posted all stores would be open when in fact this was not the case, some fans took to the page to tell them while their social media people were off duty for a couple of days.
As small businesses many of our readers take their lead from what the big boys do in business, looking to them for example but over the holiday period I would suggest that many of the big boys got it wrong. We’re inundated with sales messages up to Christmas with the big sales ads available as soon as the shops close on the 24th. Why not let people enjoy their well earned time off? Respect that people don’t actually have an interest in what you’re up to when they’re checking in between finding out what Santa delivered to their little ones and starting the Christmas lunch?
It’s not all bad to communicate with your customers when they’re online but choose your time wisely, branding and frequently quite daft and irrelevant updates in many cases are not necessary when it’s time for family, friends and fun. Sign off for Christmas and New Year with a message wishing your fans/followers greetings as appropriate but even if you do choose to work every day and night during the festive season, you shouldn’t feel the need to share continuous updates with those you’ve connected with online.
I’m not going to list the pages who updated repeatedly and/or needlessly over Christmas Day but I would suggest that over holiday times and in particular over the festive season, consider is that update appropriate or are you doing it for the sake of it? If it’s the latter make a plan to tell your fans/followers you’re having time off, keep an eye out for any feedback via your social media channels and by all means chat but please no random or bizarre utterings purely to get a reaction! And if you’ve selected to update based on the fact that your posts generally perform better on a Sunday for example, remember there are 52 weeks in the year and perhaps missing just the one won’t be a bad thing?
It’s healthy to take time out, good to take a break from work and although social media isn’t Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, it is important to be mindful that no matter how busy you are a work-life balance is important for all of us, no matter what the business, no matter what stage of our career – and respectful of your fans/followers not to bombard them with your brand messages when they’re taking time out too!
Image ‘Work And Life Time’ courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net